Liverpool, Ajax sweep into Champions League knockout stage

Liverpool and Ajax maintained their 100% record in two contrasting wins on Wednesday night to make it through to the last 16 of the Champions League.

It was smooth sailing for Liverpool in a 2-0 home victory over Atletico Madrid that made sure they will finish top of Group B with two matches to spare.

The goals came from Diogo Jota and Sadio Mane in a pulsating first half that eventually saw Atletico reduced to 10 men as Brazilian defender Felipe saw red for a foul on Mane.

Jurgen Klopp’s side was dominant in the second period but missed a series of chances to widen the gap, while Jota also had a goal chalked off for offside by the video assistant referee.

Atletico’s only threatening moment was a deflected goal by former Liverpool striker Luis Suarez that was ruled out for offside.

After four matches, Liverpool are top of the group with 12 points, followed by Porto with 5 points, Atletico with 4, and AC Milan at the bottom with just 1 point.

Liverpool will now host Porto and Milan will travel to Madrid on Nov. 24.

Ajax leave it late

Unlike Liverpool, Ajax were made to work hard by Borussia Dortmund for their place in the next round.

The Dutch side were a man up after Mats Hummels was sent off for the hosts just before the half-hour mark, but were a goal down less than 10 minutes later as Marco Reus slotted home a penalty.

Dusan Tadic finally put Ajax level on 72 minutes, before Sebastien Haller and Davy Klaassen rounded off a 3-1 comeback win to book their spot in the last 16.

Ajax are top of Group C with 12 points, while Dortmund and Sporting CP both have six points as they head into a decisive clash in Lisbon on Nov. 24.

Turkish club Besiktas have been eliminated after what has been a winless campaign so far, with their latest defeat being a 4-0 thrashing by Sporting in Portugal on Wednesday.

Source: Anadolu Agency